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Matthew 16:28

What is Matthew 16:28 talking about? Does it contradict itself?

Matthew 16:28 states, "Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom." Parallel passages are found in Mark 9:1 and Luke 9:27.   The key is found in what immediately follows each of these verses. Jesus calls Peter, James, and John, takes them up to a high mountain and is transfigured before them while Moses and Elijah come down to discuss His coming death. Consider the things that point to this being the event Jesus referred to in Matthew 16:28.

  1. Jesus "was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light" (Matthew 17:2). This matches the glorified appearance of Christ in Revelation 1:13-18 where "his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength" (Revelation 1:16).
  2. Of Moses and Elijah, the Bible says that they "appeared in glory" (Luke 9:31). They did not just appear in a natural way but "in glory." Colossians 3:4 states, "When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory." This points directly to the coming of Christ in glory (Matthew 24:30).
  3. When the disciples awoke, they looked at Christ and "saw his glory" (Luke 9:32). This is a very powerful statement. They saw the glorified Christ. They saw Him as King of Kings.
  4. A cloud overshadowed them and the Father said, "This is my beloved Son: hear him" (Luke 9:34-35). This too points to the presence and glory of God in fullness and power.
  5. Jesus told them not to tell of the vision until He had risen from the dead (Matthew 17:9). Ths vision was not for the time that Jesus walked on the earth before His crucifixion. It was a glimpse of His coming kingdom.

Peter, James, and John received a vision of the future kingdom and glory of Christ. They saw Him coming in His kingdom. It was to this event that Peter referred when he said, "For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount." (2 Peter 1:16-18). These three men were eyewitnesses of the majesty of "the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." What a glorious opportunity they had! What a glorious testimony they give!